B.C. woman in wheelchair sues Air Canada after staff lift her into seat without consent

Bonnie Hayes alleges Air Canada employees lifted her out of a wheelchair without her consent

A Penticton woman who uses a wheel chair has launched a civil lawsuit against Air Canada, claiming the airline company acted negligently after employees lifted her out of her wheelchair without her consent prior to her return flight from Vancouver to Penticton in 2018.

According to documents obtained by the Western News, the lawsuit filed last week in Penticton Supreme Court alleges Bonnie Hayes, a psychologist, was injured when two Air Canada employees “unilaterally” decided to lift her into an airplane seat, causing her immediate pain and damage to her shoulders and upper arms.

“Dr. Hayes cried out in pain during the incident and one of the two men involved, apologized,” states the lawsuit.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

READ MORE: Air Canada cuts fourth flight from Penticton to Vancouver

According to the statement of claim, Hayes had requested a seat with an armrest that could be elevated – a similar request that had been accommodated on the initial flight from Penticton to Vancouver three days earlier on Dec. 11, 2018, which allowed her to safely transition from the wheelchair to the aircraft seat.

“The injuries, loss and damage have caused and continue to cause Dr. Hayes pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of earnings, past and prospective and expense for medical treatment,” states the lawsuit.

“All of the injuries, loss and and damage were caused or contributed to by the negligence of the Defendant (Air Canada).”

It also states that Hayes continues to undergo medical care and treatment and members of her family have performed household duties, nursing and other services. As a result, she has experienced direct economic loss because of the time and effort that went into performing those duties, states the suit.

READ MORE: Penticton airport users vent on Air Canada schedule changes

According to information in the suit, the unspecified relief sought includes general damages for pain, suffering, loss of amenities and loss of enjoyment of life. The suit also claims lost income, loss of opportunity to earn income, special damages and damages payable in trust for those who provided services for her.

The suit alleges Air Canada acted negligently by failing to take any reasonable care to ensure that passengers who require extra assistance in boarding would be reasonably safe, and for failing to train its agents and employees properly.

“Failing to get informed consent from Dr. Hayes prior to transferring her from her wheelchair to her seat and unilaterally and improperly transferring Dr. Hayes from her wheelchair to her seat thereby exposing her to damage or injury which the defendant knew or ought to have known would have resulted,” the lawsuit states.

Attempts to contact the doctor were unsuccessful and Air Canada did not respond to an interview request.

As of press time, Air Canada had not filed a response to the civil claim, having 21 days to do so from the Dec. 12, 2019, filing date and had not returned requests for comment on the matter.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s top emergency official says he is not aware of any COVID-19 cases in the community

The public Sunday also heard of future plans to help local businesses through tax deferments

Food safety a good practice amid COVID-19 concerns

BC Centre for Disease Control offers useful food safe information for households

Digitization of Peninsula News Review by Sidney Museum and Archives preserves historical legacy

Searchable database will ease research and preserve integrity of records

COVID-19: Victoria plumbing company dedicates van for grocery delivery

The Super Plumber uses van to pick up groceries for those in need during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read